Q&A: Enrique Arnero: Mowing Lawns to Training Hollywood
Hispanics in Focus
Enrique Arnero is a Hispanic with an inspiring tale of achievement. From immigrating to the U.S. from Mexico, selling keychains on California street corners, and mowing lawns -- to earning a scholarship to the University of Greenville and obtaining a degree in Psychology – as well as running his own business. Enrique Arnero is the owner of Think Fit gym in Los Angeles, California where he trains everyone from athletes, students, to Hollywood stars. Hispanic.com is really excited to have the opportunity to speak with Enrique.
Q. Tell us a little about your background and your family.
I was born in Mexico and I was raised here in the U.S. My parents have always empowered me, all my life. I was always taught traditional values in terms of culture – to be Mexican and then American– but also to do something positive for our culture. Due to my upbringing and family values, I decided to focus on education and earn a psychology degree. Also, amazing but true - I was influenced by the Aztecs, who had great physiques and good health-- so I wanted to take some of the learnings from that culture and apply them to a positive direction in life.
I came here illegally from Mexico many years ago. Like many Mexicans have, I did things like cut lawns and I sold keychains on street corners. I worked hard, and went from that to being offered the opportunity to play semi-pro football in Europe. (I had to stay to support my family – I was the only son out of two sisters.)
Q. What made you choose to become a Personal Life and Fitness Coach?
I did therapy with families and children for many years at Hollygrove in Los Angeles, a center which helps children and families. I worked there with the children, on programs to enhance the mind and body connection. And I’ve really been a lifelong athlete. In fact I started playing football in high school. Then I started playing college football, and became the first Mexican born quarterback in Compton College history. Then I earned a scholarship as a quarterback to the University of Greenville in Illinois.
I’m a strong advocate for fitness. I’ve also run 13 L.A. marathons. Would you believe, I’m a 6 feet 225 pound Mexican-American that runs marathons!
So with experience I wanted to continue helping people improve that mindà body connection. So as my career developed, I became a life coach and then a fitness coach. I used to train my clients on the roads and in parks. Then one day, I decided to take a chance and open a place here in Whittier, and I am thankful that my clients have followed me throughout this growth and change. Now I own “Think Fit”, I train private clients, and I work with kids in improving that mind àbody connection in my own location. We train people in physical fitness and I help clients improve their eating.
And now this is where I am now – as a private fitness coach. My theory is not just about getting fit in the new year – it’s about being fit all year round. I’m trying to reeducate people it’s not just a temporary thing – it’s a longevity thing. Take care of yourself before it’s too late.
Q. Why is eating well so important to that mind--> body connection?
I lost my mother to Diabetes – so this triggered me to step up and say “Oh no – this is not acceptable!” We Latinos need to wake up – and we need to respect our bodies. But then again…don’t strip our flavor!
I love my food – I love my flavor – but you have to cook it a little bit differently. So I’ve always worked with educating kids and saying you gotta stay strong, and to stay strong – you gotta eat well! The story ends well if you take care of your body.
Q. Where does education play into being a life coach and fitness trainer? As well as what are your thoughts in general?
My parents pressed me to get an education. And I think that having a degree shows that there is discipline to do something. But it’s more than the degree. You need to have experience to back up your degree. I think having a degree gives you more credibility to speak on topics. Now, I feel it’s my obligation to share what I know - – and help anyone who comes by my gym. The more education you have – the more you can share information with others. For example, I have a degree in psychology. It helps me understand my clients and analyze their needs. And as a result, my clients are more successful.
I train and prepare many people and support them in their athletic progress. There aren’t that many Hispanics who are playing in the NFL, and I want to see more of them in the league in the future. Right now I have a Latino kid I’m working with– and he plays hockey! We would love to see him get into Notre Dame. But besides his hockey ability - I tell him to hit the books!
Q. What's next for you?
Right now I’m working hard with my clients and talking about fitness as a motivational speaker. I want to support everyone in achieving their dreams, that’s what I love to do as a Life Coach. I work with my clients to help them be proud of their achievements.
Also, with regards to Hispanics, we need to be a success! I’m also a motivational/professional speaker. Alot of people sacrificed for many of us to be here. And they are expecting you to carry that to the next generation. I’m looking forward to the next step – which is developing my clothing line.
Also, I want more Hispanics to play in league: basketball, football, hockey etc. in college. I’m proud of my generation and will keep looking and advocating to help others as they move towards their dreams. I’m going to donate my time or money to help them get there. You can achieve. It’s possible.
Hispanic.com: Thanks Enrique!
To contact Enrique write Thinkfit11@gmail.com
Think Fit Gym
12525 Beverly Blvd Whittier, CA 90601
Tel. (562) 477-5415